LeBron James ‘happy’ to have Lance Stephenson on the Lakers
With Paul George staying with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Kawhi Leonard being shipped to the Toronto Raptors, the Los Angeles Lakers have to find other options to fill out the roster for the 2018-19 NBA season. One of those options was surprising, to say the least with the team agreeing to a deal with notable LeBron irritant, Lance Stephenson.
The signing took many by surprise as it was uncertain whether Stephenson would get along after so many battles during their time in the Eastern Conference. However, James seems to be fine with playing alongside the former Indiana Pacers as he said after Lakers practice on Thursday.
“I love Lance,” James said of his former on-court rival. “Like I said, he’ll run through a wall for any one of his teammates.
“Lance makes mistakes, but at the end of the day, it’s for the winning of the team. He’s never doing anything to try to alienate himself away from the team. He plays hard. Extremely hard. Guy makes mistakes, but they giving all they got 110%, you can ride with that, so I’m happy to have him.”
Stephenson was one of many veteran players the team brought in this summer to surround LeBron and the team’s talented young core. The journeyman will likely play a limited role off the bench but could provide a spark on both ends of the floor when called upon.
James and company will get their preseason underway on Sun. Sept. 30 in San Diego against the Denver Nuggets. It will be the first time the three-time NBA champion and additions like Stephenson suit up for the team after an incredible offseason of change for the storied franchise.